Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings) is a new Christmas comedy that premiered in Seattle in 2013. Read our reviews, peruse our awards and nominations or browse our blog below! For more information about the show, see our About page.
All posts by Frank Lawler
Sound Theatre Company sweeps Gregory Awards
On October 27, the producers of our world premiere, Sound Theatre Company, received five Gregory Awards at Theatre Puget Sound’s annual awards ceremony, including Theatre of the Year!
The cast, crew and authors of Holiday of Errors are very excited to have been part of STC’s award-winning 2013-2014 season!
The Official Trailer
Here’s the official trailer showcasing the premiere production of Holiday of Errors, Christmas 2013.
Holiday of Errors garners Three Gypsy Rose Award Nominations
Seattle Theater Writers gave Holiday of Errors announced that Holiday of Errors was given three Gypsy Rose Lee Award Nominations:
- Excellence in Performance as a Supporting Actor (Female) – Elinor Gunn
- Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble – Cast of Holiday of Errors
- Excellence in Local Playwriting – Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint
Holiday of Errors Earns Two Seattle Times Footlight Awards
Misha Berson, theatre critic for the Seattle Times yesterday announced her 2013 Footlight Awards, celebrating the best of theatre in the Puget Sound region. Holiday of Errors won in two categories:
- Best New Holiday Show
- Best Song Parody (for “Crown Yourself a Bloody Little Monarch”)
See the full article here.
Review from The Stranger – Brendan Kiley
HOLIDAY OF ERRORS : Queen Elizabeth, a powerful woman with a powerful libido. Photo by KEN HOLMES
Holiday of Errors (Or, Much Ado About Stockings) is [a new] star in Seattle’s holiday-theater constellation and an addition to the micro-genre of comedies about Shakespeare as a working playwright, stuffed with winking references to his plays. (See Shakespeare in Love, Wittenberg, and so on.) Theater about making theater has a high risk of being intolerably geeky and self-referential. But playwrights Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint skirt the edge of that chasm without falling into it.
The play begins with Shakespeare (Lawler), broke and cold on Christmas Eve, trying out and throwing away new lines. “O for a moose on fire!” he shouts and scribbles at the same time, then frowns and crumples up his paper before trying again. “Beware the thighs of Marge!” (Hee-haw.) His charmingly dumb leading actor, Richard Burbage, realizes he’s forgotten to tell Shakespeare that they’d gotten a letter a few months ago, which turns out to have been a commission from Queen Elizabeth to present a new play at her palace on Twelfth Night—that is, in less than two weeks.
Shakespeare despairs, the gay ghost of his rival Christopher Marlowe (Daniel Stoltenberg) shows up, Christmas Carol–like, to goad him into inspiration, and the comedy of errors is on. Directed by Teresa Thuman, Holiday merrily bumps along as Shakespeare and his company of goofballs go to the palace to write and rehearse, tangling themselves in a variety of romantic and political intrigues.
Lawler and Flint cram their script full of familiar Shakespeare tropes—boozy courtiers, scheming power brokers, naive twits, women disguised as men, and witty characters (in this case, Shakespeare and the ghost of Marlowe) who drift just above the action while constantly commenting on it. Elinor Gunn is especially peppy as the redheaded, effusive, and lusty Queen Elizabeth (the so-called “virgin queen”), who cares less about the play than scoring with some of the players. Gunn delivers an unexpectedly scathing monologue toward the end of Holiday about how men can’t abide the idea of a powerful woman who also has a powerful libido—and knows how to both enjoy it and leverage it for practical purposes—earning her a burst of applause that nearly tipped over into a standing ovation.
Holiday of Errors chews up and spits out the usual cultural baggage of late December—carols, Dickens, puritanical killjoys—with easygoing intelligence. [The show is not] likely to change anyone’s life, but [it’s a good bet] for lightening your mood.
See original article here.
“A Christmas theatrical comedy that is often genius” – Seattle Gay News
Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings) is a Christmas theatrical comedy that is often genius
by Miryam Gordon – SGN A&E Writer
HOLIDAY OF ERRORS (OR MUCH ADO ABOUT STOCKINGS)
SOUND THEATRE COMPANY AND
ONE LUMP OR TWO PRODUCTIONS
THE ARMORY/ CENTER HOUSE THEATRE
Through December 21
It’s new, it’s funny, it’s smart, it spoofs Shakespeare and other stuff, and it’s kind-of sort-of Christmas-y! Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings) is a new comedy by Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint. Lawler is an inveterate performer of Shakespeare and other classical theater all over town, so he certainly knows whereof he writes. Flint’s bio shows boatloads of Shakespearian experience as well and an MFA from Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University, to boot.Their world premiere production is mounted by Sound Theatre Company and One Lump or Two Productions. Lawler stars as a despondent and broke Will Shakespeare, until he gets a Christmas-time commission from Queen Elizabeth and has to write something in a hurry! He and his little company, Richard (Matt Fulbright), Charlie (Marianna de Fazio playing a man), Aloysius (Terry Boyd) and Lou (Damien Charboneau) get to Whitehall to find that the Queen’s Chamberlain, Sir Christopher Hatton (Ian Bond), and the Mayor (also Terry Boyd) are determined to shut down all the theaters and get rid of actors!
Finding that Queen Elizabeth (Elinor Gunn), far from being virginistic, is quite the lusty woman, they work on a plan to foil the plot. Along with Justin Lynn and Luke S. Walker, and Christopher Marlowe, a rival playwright who may or may not be a ghost (played by Daniel Stoltenberg), the kind-of, sort-of plausible plot devices work their farcical ways and eventually save the day. Spoiler alert! What? You expect a Christmas theatrical comedy to allow theaters to be shut and actors to be banned?
The script is often genius. There are puns every 30 seconds or more that whiz by, so get your ears perked to catch ’em all. There are a few moments that lag and the show could lose about 10 minutes and end up even sharper, but overall, it’s quite fun.
They weave in rewritten Christmas tunes you know, and plotlines from Twelfth Night and other Shakespeare plays. Certainly there are Shakespeare’s lines here and there, as well. Director Teresa Thuman generally manages to keep the hilarity rolling and the frolic frolicking.
A spare set with arches and curtains stands for various locales and we don’t miss more (from Sound Theatre Company veteran Richard Schaefer). Costumes by Justine Wright are appropriate without being fussy.
Would it help if you knew a lot of Shakespeare? Probably, if you want to get most of the puns and jokes, but this is certainly low-brow enough to work even for children, though they should probably be closer to the 10 or 11 year old age.
The production’s got its share of bawdiness and hints of Gay-ety. The talent on stage is a capable lot and fully able to manage much split-second comedy. Charlie, the ‘man’ de Fazio plays, is the smart discerning one in the play, and it is enjoyable watching her try to play personalities against each other to win. Lawler is fully invested in the character of Shakespeare. Gunn has no intention of playing a haughty Queen until one tiny moment near the end where she unleashes her wrath and we can never underestimate her again.
For more information, go to www.soundtheatrecompany.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.
Discuss your opinions with firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters.
See original article here.
SeattleActor.com gives Holiday of Errors FOUR STARS
“Holiday of Errors” by Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint is a hilarious, fresh and intelligent mash-up of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III” mixed in with desperate doses of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. An accomplished cast, led by Teresa Thuman’s excellent direction, delivers an entertainment that will delight audiences that know a great deal about the Bard and his works and, perhaps, will be even more pleasing to those who have never understood Shakespeare at all. Because these writers are obviously so well-versed in the canon, they are able to effortlessly stir in large dollops of inside jokes and literary transmutations with easy, cheesy comic action. Best of all, none of this seems forced or over-studied, but more like one of those days when you’ve studied desperately for an exam and realize, just before starting the test, that you can’t exactly remember which book which characters were in, or what happened, or why. Time to get really inventive.
The play begins with Shakespeare at his desk on a lonely night in 1593, dashing off one idea after another that is not quite right, desperately trying to get something down for a performance to be performed before the lusty and supercilious Queen Elizabeth on Twelfth Night. As if that were not enough pressure, there is also a movement to close all the theaters in London, and if this show flops there is a high likelihood that the Master will have to retire to his unhappy life in the country. And there are other things going on, including a somewhat helpful visit from the probable ghost of Marlowe, an actor in his troop who is actually a woman (invasion from “Shakespeare in Love”) spirits from the past, present and future, and several players from both inside and outside the court who want to get intimate with her randy Majesty in order to advance their own personal agendas. The play is, perhaps, extended a bit beyond its natural ending, but the action is so fast-paced and interesting that it never seems to lag, and the production maintains a perfect grasp on tone, well-realized characterizations and a general sense of invention that makes all of this borrowed, blasphemed writing feel like improvisation.
As the Bard of Avon, Frank Lawler played Will as a man who never seemed too full of himself, decidedly human-scaled, allowing his greatness to appear more like a costume than a conceit. In one of the more subtle balances of this performance, all of the characters who came from his imagination seemed more vivid and interesting than he himself did. Best of all, Lawler created a Shakespeare who was intuitively connected with the inner-lives and thought processes of the great and powerful. Not hard to believe that this man created characters whom he understood better than they understood themselves.
While this whole ensemble was excellent, I thought Elinor Gunn as Elizabeth was a sheer delight, a woman whose passions for the flesh were greater than her passion for power. She also reveled in a Queen who felt perfectly at ease with her presumed greatness. At the other end of that scale was Matt Fulbright, as Shakespeare’s greatest actor, Richard Burbage (or Dick in this show). Fulbright was always that blank slate on which character could be drawn, and there was never any sense of ego or grandiosity in the actor himself. Similarly, Marianna de Fazio was excellent as the young actor known as Charlie, whom the Queen finds irresistible and who must make her way through the male costumes and identity to her actual person. Daniel Stoltenbergdid a great job of keeping the scandalous Marlowe controlled and still outrageous, and his performance was a perfect example of the careful control of tone throughout the production. Even with the perfectly ridiculous Eddie de Vere, played by Luke S. Walker, it was always clear that this comic fool was just as preposterous to everyone else on stage as he was to us. Terry Boyd, Justin Lynn and Damien Charboneau filled in the rest of the characters with an equal amount of control and comedic accent.
Beautifully mounted with set and lighting design by Richard Schaefer and splendid costumes byJustine Wright, just about everything in this production was done right. Even the very funny Christmas carols, with re-written lyrics to fit the show, managed to feel natural and not forced. The music was handled by Jesse Smith. Above all, though, the coherence and consistency of this silly, delightful romp has to be credited to Teresa Thuman.
“Holiday of Errors, or Much Ado About Stockings” was, for me, the best theatrical surprise so far this Christmas season. I don’t think non-theater people can really appreciate how difficult it is to pull off this kind of parody, but you don’t need much theatrical education to find yourself laughing loudly and frequently at this funny, funny show.
Pictured: Frank Lawler and Matt Fulbright
PHOTO BY: Ken Holmes
Written by: Jerry Kraft
Added: December 12th 2013
View original article here.
Seattle Times Review by Misha Berson
Shakespeare meets Dickens in ‘Holiday of Errors’
Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint’s pun-laden “Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings)” borrows liberally from the works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens in a nontraditional holiday comedy, which Sound Theatre Company is premiering.
By Misha Berson
Seattle Times theater critic
Attention Shakespeare fans who enjoy drinking games! If only Sound Theatre served booze at its current Center House show, it would have the makings of a dandy one.
For if one were to take a sip of ale every time a work by the Bard of Avon was quoted or spoofed, in the troupe’s ungainly but often ingenious new comedy, “Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings),” one would be tipsy in no time.
Co-authors Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint have no shame at all in their pun-laden lampoonery of Elizabethan classics. They not only energetically raid Shakespeare texts for gags and one-liners (including one of the top pickup lines from the Bard’s sonnets). They also heartily steal from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
Their Will Shakespeare is an arrogant genius and unflappable cynic, played with excellent dry wit by Lawler as a stage Scrooge with writer’s block, given to riffing on the expression “Bah, humbug!.” Archrival playwright Christopher Marlowe (a humorously languid Daniel Stoltenberg) is also on the scene as, more or less, Marley’s ghost — and, preposterously, the Bard’s writing coach.
A broke Will, desperate for royal patronage, whips up the play-within-a-play “King Richard’s Twelfth Night Revels,” a goofy mash-up of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III” with Christmas songs, to present at court. And foppish aristocrat and poet Edward de Vere (Luke S. Walker) appears in it as the buffoon Sir Anthony Aguecheek. (Some claim de Vere was the real creator of Shakespeare’s canon, but not in this comedic universe.)
“Holiday of Errors” is packed with antic wordplay, both nimble and groansome, and expects its audience to have some prior knowledge (the more the better) of Shakespeare’s plays (comic and tragic), his times (the show is set in London, in the plague year of 1593) and (not essential, but it couldn’t hurt) the basic elements of Elizabethan dramaturgy.
Those who enjoyed Tom Stoppard’s irreverent satire of such, in his Oscar-winning “Shakespeare in Love” screenplay, may appreciate the similarly tongue-in-cheek, if more scattered, approach of Lawler and Flint.
Here the “virgin queen” Elizabeth I (a tiptop Elinor Gunn) is a haughty but lusty sex-crazed gal on the prowl. Sir Christopher Hatton (Ian Bond), who was Lord Chancellor of England during Elizabeth’s reign, has been caricatured as a stiff-necked Puritan — though an assignation with a cross-dressing actress (the adept Marianna de Fazio) loosens him up.
And Richard Burbage (the agreeable Matt Fulbright) really was one of Shakespeare’s favorite and best actors. In this incarnation, he’s also a sort of a pretty-boy lamebrain, rather than the shrewd, theater-owning businessman that history recounts.
No matter. “Holiday of Errors” has a license to exaggerate and turn anything topsy-turvy for a laugh.
What’s needed are some script edits and refinements to a show that could easily lose some of its Falstaffian girth. A number of jests splat, and some bits, especially in the overlong “Richard III” parody, confuse, sputter or slow down the laugh engine.
There’s much to amuse, however. And in addition to the cast’s strengths (which also include Justin Lynn, with his party-dude take on Sir Toby Belch), Teresa Thuman’s animated staging prospers from the period costumes of Justine Wright, and the flexible set design by Richard Schaefer.
Thuman’s Sound Theatre Company has had a breakout year, and this romp closes it on a mirthful note.
Misha Berson: email@example.com
Original article can be found here.
Review from Arts Stage / Seattle Rage
“Holiday of Errors” Presented by Sound Theatre Company
Double entendres, slippery syllables, rapid-fire wordplay, and sly jokes! If you are a fan of any or all of these, if you like Shakespeare, then “Holiday for Errors” is for you. Written by Seattle actor and writer Frank Lawler and Washington, DC, actor and Shakespeare authority Daniel Flint, this is a production that provides “the definitive” answer to the relationship between Shakespeare and Marlow, and in the process creates a Christmas confection composed of fractured bits from “Twelfth Night,” “Richard III,” and a bit more.
(photo: Ken Holmes)
Sound impossible? Not so. This melange brings forth the lame Richard III in company with the gartered Malvolio. You’ll not be surprised that it also has a girl masquerading as a boy. It offers a saucy (let’s say horny) Queen Elizabeth who spends more time plotting her bedroom romps than attending to affairs of state. Unfortunately her stuffy Chamberlain is of the Puritan persuasion and would close down all the theatres and do away with Christmas celebrations. Of course, Christmas and the theatres are saved. Marlow serves as Shakespeare’s muse, and all’s well that ends well.
Richard Schaefer’s simple but elegant set is absolutely lovely, evoking Christmas and serving as a fine Elizabethan background. Schaefer is also the man who designed the lighting that features the most delicate and arresting silhouettes. I’m always amazed when a small theatre company manages to mount a play with lavish costumes. Justine Wright’s Elizabethan outfits for the cast are wonderful.
So, if you’re a Shakespeare fan or enjoy broad humor, come on down to the Center Theatre where Director Teresa Thuman’s concoction offers an unusual Christmas treat.
Through Dec. 21 at Center Theatre in the Seattle Center Armory, in Seattle Center (www.BrownPaperTickets.com or www.SoundTheatreCompany.org).
See original article here.